Baby Back Ribs with Sweet and spicy BBQ Sauce

This is not a vegan site, sorry!

But this IS a site where we discuss things that we have wanted to learn, have tried and want to share. BBQ is actually a really hard thing to do. Some folks think anyone can just throw stuff on a grill and POOF BBQ! Not so much. Did you know you were supposed to take the membrane off the bottom of the ribs prior to cooking them? I DIDNT, but the Weber New American BBQ Cookbook goes through details of how to properly cook specific cuts, how to prep appropriately on top of having awesome sides to accompany all of the amazing things you’ll BBQ. I cant tell you how much I appreciate this book!

Rub Ingredients

1 Tbsp Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp Prepared Chili powder
1 Tbsp Salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

2 Racks of baby back ribs, 2 – 3 lbs each. If you have one, I recommend cutting the recipe in half. You don’t want to over rub the meat.

Sauce Ingredients

3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Molasses (Not blackstrap)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I didnt have any and used Soy sauce instead, turned out GREAT)
1Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. Mix rub ingredients
  2. Rub meat on both sides with oil
  3. Add rub to the bottom but save the majority for the meatier parts of the ribs.
  4. Prepare charcoal grill for indirect cooking. If you dont have a charcoall grill you can certainly do this on a grill. I placed the ribs on foil, had two burners going on Low on either side. DO NOT DO DIRECT HEAT.
  5. While your ribs are cooking the first hour, prepare your sauce and cook on low. Do not boil, just simmer until consistency is a light syrup.
  6. After the first hour is done, spray your meat with a light spritz of water all over. Continue to cook for another hour on low.
  7. After your second hour of cooking, transfer racks to a flat open surface, brush the racks with your sauce you have cooked, place in foil and wrap tightly.
  8. Return to grill for another 45 minutes.
  9. After 45 minutes in foil, remove racks from grill to check doneness. Ribs should have 1/4 inch or more of the ends shrunken back. If they haven’t, return to the grill for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from foil, basting ribs for a final time with your sauce, and return directly onto grill with indirect low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened / set into the meat.

Paleo Tortillas

This gem is taken from the Nom Nom Paleo Cook Book – something EVERYONE should have, whether they’re paleo, whole30 or not.

Grain Free Easy and Delishy – Ingredients

2 Cups Cassava Flour
3/4 Cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup ghee, lard or olive oil
1 1/4 Cups hot water

directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, arrowroot and salt.
  2. Work the fat in with your fingers until fully incorporated, add water and knead until ball is formed.
  3. Divide dough into a dozen even size pieces, weighing them works great!
  4. One by one, flatten between parchment paper or plastic wrap using a rolling pin, tortillas press or a couple of heavy books.
  5. Heat a dry skillet or griddle or med high heat, transfer flattened tortilla onto skillet.
  6. Cook for 1 minute or until air bubbles form on the surface.
  7. Flip the tortilla and cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Transfer each tortilla to a plate as it finishes cooking and cover with a clean towel.
  9. Enjoy!

Steak and Pepper Fajitas

Most people don’t need a lot of convincing for a taco or fajita night, and this recipe is on heavy repeat in our household with no leftovers in sight!
This is a simple fresh fajita marinade that can be used on any type of protein, my favorite is flank steak.

Fajita ingredients

1 pound flank steak
1 green bell pepper sliced
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 small yellow onion sliced
2 garlic cloves chopped
½ cup of sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon avocado oil 
1 Avocado sliced

Marinade Ingredients

½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice, and don’t even try with the bottle stuff!
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup raw honey
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne, less if you like

Directions

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and whisk well.
  2. Place flank steak in a baking dish or bag and pour the marinade over making sure to completely coat.
  3. Marinade for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
  4. Take the flank steak out and let sit at room temp for 30 mins.
  5. Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy skillet (personal preference is Le Creuset) , first cook the mushrooms until lightly browned then add the peppers and garlic.
  6. Cook all the veggies for 5-6 mins over medium-high heat until they are lightly seared.
  7. Adjust the temp to high and add the steak constantly turning and cooking for another 3-5 minutes or preferred doneness.
  8. Serve with warm paleo tortillas (find the recipe here) , avocado slices and pickled onions (find the recipe here)

Kat’s Paella

Since we are cooking for the end times, I always keep rice and other dried goods on hand to build a meal off of. Tonight’s meal was what I like to call a “Pantry to Freezer” meal.
I had frozen and cooked shrimp with the tail off, this helps cut down on time and since it is already cooked, all you have to do is thaw and then warm them in your dish at the end. This also helps your shrimp from being overcooked. The chicken was frozen previously, which I let thaw and then cubed, cooking it in the sauce as the paella was reducing. The Andouille sausage was placed in at the end as well just to heat. Perfect meal for a night in and little effort.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
1 Bell Pepper Cubed (I prefer Red or Orange, but Green is good too!)
1 Jalapeño Cubed
2 14.5 oz Cans of Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
2 Cups Matiz Paella Rice
7 cups Vegetable Broth (for this recipe I used Better than Boullion Vegetable base)
1 tsp Saffron
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 lb Thawed, cooked tail off shrimp
2 Chicken Breasts Raw, Cubed
2 Aidell’s Smoked Pork, Cajun Style Andouille Sausage Links, sliced
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
1 Bunch Green Onion thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a Large dutch oven or pan: Combine Olive Oil, diced onion and sauté until onion is transparent.
  2. In a separate pot, simmer your saffron with the vegetable broth.
  3. Add peppers, jalapeño and cook with onions until al dente.
  4. Add Cans of Tomatoes, the Rice and simmer with onions and peppers until most moisture is gone.
  5. Slowly add in broth and stir to combine.
  6. Add the Chicken and cook thoroughly. Stirring often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  7. Once Rice is cooked, add in your thawed Shrimp and Sausage. Turn temperature to low.
  8. Warm for 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and green onions.
  10. Serve with a vinegar base hot sauce.

Orange Chicken

Who doesn’t love orange chicken, that tangy yet sweet Chinese American staple? It is no surprise that Trader Joe’s #1 selling item is Orange Chicken nearly year round. But we eat Paleo/Whole 30 in our house so I am always modifying a recipe- like a ninja warrior challenge, give me any recipe and I will tweak all the “unapproved” ingredients out.
This one has been a fav in our house and dinner parties, hope you enjoy it!

ingredients

1lb of boneless skinless chicken, breast or thighs. Whichever you prefer, I have made this with both!
5 Tbsp of Tapioca flour: 4 for coating the chicken and 1 one for the sauce
1 tsp of salt, I use Diamond Crystal Kosher salt 
1 tsp of ground black pepper
2 cups of broccoli flowerettes
1 whole red bell pepper sliced
Juice of two fresh oranges
1 tsp of finely grated orange zest
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
1 tsp of sesame oil
2 Tbsp of Sambal chili sauce, more or less depending on how spice you like
1/2 cup cooking like Avocado oil or another high temp oil for frying

Directions

  1. Heat the cooking oil in a heavy bottom frying pan or wok
  2. Cut the chicken in to bit size pieces and pat dry with a paper towel
  3. In a deep bowl mix 4 tablespoons of tapioca flour with the salt and pepper
  4. Toss the chicken in the flour mix to evenly coat 
  5. In small batches fry the chicken until browned and set aside on a paper towel
  6. Discard any remaining oil from the chicken and add one tablespoon of cooking oil and the sesame oil to the pan and heat medium-high
  7. Add the chopped garlic, sambal and ginger cook for 1 min
  8. Add the vegetables
  9. Add the chicken to the vegetables and cook for another 5 mins stirring a few times
  10. In a small bowl mix together the orange juice and tapioca flour, whisk together until you do not have any clumps
  11. Slowly add the sauce mixture to the  chicken and veggies while stirring constantly
  12. stir in the orange zest

Anne’s Stout Braised beef short ribs

This is one of our go to comfort meals, super easy and perfect served over riced cauliflower or any carb you love!

Ingredients

4 lbs short ribs*, bone-in, individually English cut
2 Tbsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp good oil, like Avocado oil or Safflower oil
1 yellow onion
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tapioca flour
18 oz of Guinness 
2 cups Beef Bone Broth
6 dates
1 sprig sage
4 sprigs thyme, (more for garnish)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Slurry (1 tbsp tapioca flour or corn starch mixed in 2 tbsp cold water)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  2. Clean and rough chop all the veggies and set aside. Pat dry the ribs and liberally season with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Over medium-high heat the oil in a braiser/Dutch oven or large heavy skillet and sear the short ribs for about 1-2 mins on each side. Work in batches so that you do not overcrowd the pan. When nicely browned, remove the short ribs and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium, add the veggies, stir them and let them soften for a few minutes. Add the tapioca flour and tomato paste stir and cook for about a minute.
  5. Deglaze by adding the beer and be sure to scrape all brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth, the bay leaves, sage, thyme and dates.
  6.  Add the short ribs, distribute evenly and increase heat to bring to boil.
  7. Once boiling cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours. The ribs should be very tender before you take them out of the oven. 
  8. When the short ribs are done, remove them from the braising liquid (carefully, the meat will be very tender) and let them rest for a few minutes. You can then remove the tendons and bones before you serve them.
  9. If you want to make a gravy from the braising liquid first scoop out the vegetables and set aside. Using a large spoon skim off and remove as much of the fat floating on top of the liquid. Then strain the braising liquid using a sieve. 
  10. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the strained braising liquid and the Dijon mustard and bring to simmer, mix to incorporate, add slurry and stir to thicken.

Ina’s roasted Chicken

Ina’s chicken, the classic Sunday dinner staple in our house. Simple yet so damn good!I add in carrots, onions and celery to the pan so you have sides to go with!

From Ina herself to you! If you love Ina, and this recipe – purchase the Cook Book Here!

ingredients

From Ina herself to you

  • 1 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Spanish onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Remove the chicken giblets.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.
  3. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.
  4. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
  5. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic.
  6. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
  7. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
  8. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Gravy Deets

  1. Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons in a small cup.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan.
  4. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour.
  5. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over a very low flame while you carve the chicken.

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy.

Pandemic Pizza Dough

Pizza is something that ANYONE can make at any time. Most folks have canned tomato sauce in the pantry and cheese in the fridge……oh hey, that is technically a pizza! A pizza can be anything, get creative. You don’t have to only use a red sauce. Blend together some EVOO and fresh garlic to make a garlic sauce, or get fancy and make an Alfredo sauce! My particular favorite is when I have an abundance of fresh basil and parsley, I blend it together with some Olive Oil and make a pesto base. Have fun with it!

If you are anything like me, there is always flour, yeast, sugar and salt on hand. If you’re not like me, go to Trader Joes and get you one of them pre-made dough balls! They are actually really good in a pinch. But today, I am going to talk about MY particular favorite, which is made with a bread maker.

Ingredients

1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Water (Room Temperature)
2 Tbsp Olive/ Vegetable Oil

  1. Measure all ingredients and place into bread pan.
  2. Follow the instructions on your bread maker “Dough” function. I personally own an Oster Bread Maker and highly recommend using the cook book that comes with it!
  3. When the dough is done, roll it out on to a lightly floured surface. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
    **This recipe is for one pizza, but if you prefer thin crust, it will make Two 12-16 inch pizzas.
  4. Place rolled dough onto well oiled parchment paper.
    **I suggest getting a pizza stone if you don’t already have one. However, there is a pandemic and I realize that is probably not top of the priority list. So, use a baking sheet and move the rack one below the middle.
  5. Bake for 15-10 minutes or until crust is brown.
  6. IF you are making a thicker crust pizza with less toppings, bake your crust for 10 minutes, take it out & immediately top the pizza and place back in the over.
  7. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes in order to properly cook your crust and not over cook your toppings.